Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Working Out: Change Your Mindset

I was never really a person who worked out or exercised a whole lot.  I was really blessed with a high metabolism and never really saw the need until after I got married and my metabolism started slowing down...  My husband, Jake, exercised basically his whole life.  He ran track, wrestled, and played soccer in high school, all at the same time.  We tried to work out together so that he could teach me things and build my confidence.  We tried working out at the gym, we tried work out videos, and we even tried a few of Jake's work out routines.  Nothing lasted more than a month.

I could never get into it.  I hated working out and all the discomfort that came with it.  After I had Berlin, I was all of the sudden motivated... for a while.  I think that work out stint lasted a couple of months and then I just stopped again.  It was too hard to fit into the schedule and I didn't see the kind of progress that I wanted on the scale.

Then almost two months ago when I was having a lot of honest conversations with myself, I asked myself what kind of a person I wanted to be.  One of my answers was that I wanted to be a person who worked out consistently, multiple times a week.  I surprised myself because my answer wasn't that I wanted to be thin, it was that I wanted to be a person who exercised.

Suddenly, I had a goal I could achieve.  I could definitely control how often I worked out even though I can't control the scale as easily.  My mindset changed as my goal changed.  Even though I haven't lost a pound according to the scale, I have been the person I want to be by exercising 4-5 times each week for the last six weeks.  I feel great about being able to accomplish that goal and I love being that person that I really want to be.

What do you want to do that you struggle with doing?  Do you just need to change your goal and change your mindset?  Think about it.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Podcasts I Love

I want to interrupt my stream of posts about books to share some podcasts that I really love and a couple that I just kind of like!

My favorite podcast just started!  It is called Art for Your Ear and it is put on by Danielle Krysa of the Jealous Curator.  She is delving into the lives of the artists today and I really love hearing their stories.  As of right now, she's only two episodes in and she publishes a new one every Saturday.  If you're a fan of contemporary art, check out her podcast!

Another favorite is Being Boss and it is put on by Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon.  These two ladies rock at running their own businesses and they have a lot of business and life advice.  I love to listen to them while I work out in the morning because the podcast just gets me so pumped for the day!

I also really love Creative Start.  In this podcast, Cortnee Loren Brown interviews today's creatives to find out their journey and how they got their start doing whatever it is that they do.  I love hearing the insights of those who are really making it in their chosen field.  They have so much advice and I always have to listen to this podcast with pen and paper handy!

A recent favorite is called the Mystery Show.  This is a Gimlet Media podcast hosted by Starlee Kine.  This podcast also just started, but it is a fun one to listen to while I'm running errands or doing chores around the house.  In this podcast, Starlee solves mysteries that can't be solved by running a google search.  She's super funny and endearing and I love listening to her!

I also listen to Arts Entrepreneurs (see a theme? haha...).  This podcast has the potential to be super great, but right now it's just ok.  I listened to the entire first season and most of the episodes are about creatives who run festivals and musicians.  I'm not trying to knock the value of their advice or stories, but I really want to hear from other types of creatives, too.  I'm really hoping that the next season of the show brings more variety!

I occasionally listen to the Lively Show.  It's an interesting show, but I can't get into it for some reason.  I'll usually pull up an episode that looks interesting to me when I really want to listen to something, but I don't have any other episodes.

The last podcast I listen to is the Paperclipping Roundtable.  This podcast is a scrapbooking audio show  I only listen to this when I'm doing chores.  It's a fun show, but it feels a little frivolous!  This one is pure entertainment!

I hope that you're able to find something that strikes your fancy!  I'd love to know what podcasts you're listening to!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Steal Like an Artist: Book Review

Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon instantly became one of my favorite books.  I borrow all of my books from the library, if possible, but as soon as I finished this book (which didn't take very long) I ordered my own copy.

Austin's book is full of practical advice, inspiring quotes, and a kick in the pants to get the work done.  I bought the book so that I could read it again and again, which reminds me that I'm probably due to read it again this month.  It's a short, easy, and enjoyable read.  If you haven't read this book, you should borrow it, or just buy it.  It's an inexpensive book and a great resource, so you won't regret it.

The book is appropriately named for one of Austin's best ideas: take the ideas you love from other people and use it in your own work.  He makes a very clear distinction between flat out copying and using the ideas of others in your own way.  He advises that you "steal" from many different people at the same time and just avoid the blatant copy of someone else's brilliant ideas.

I also love his ideas on doing the work and sharing it with others.  He expands on that idea more in his other book Show Your Work, which is also very good.  I decided to take that advice when I started this blog.  I am not new to trying to blog.  I have had a quilting blog that I was successful at keeping up until I got pregnant (and totally abandoned once I had Berlin!) and I even started a Project Life blog, which I didn't get very far on at all.  Sure, these blogs are kind of failures (one kind of, the other for sure!), but I decided to not let that stop me from starting this one.   I have since realized that while I love quilting and scrapbooking, trying to get into the industry is what Julia Cameron, author of The Artist's Way, calls "shadow pursuits".  Each pursuit is creative and close to what I really want to do, but it's still a different path.

Now that I recognize that about myself, I can consciously make the decision to keep those pursuits as hobbies.  I don't need to be a professional at everything!  But I do want to be a professional artist.  As part of sharing my work, I have this blog.  Although I only have posts and no photos at this point, I intend to make this website my online portfolio and a place for all of my pursuits, professional or not.
You should definitely read this book and "steal" whatever you can from it!